Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Author: Katarina Bivald
Release Date: 19 January 2016 (US)
“Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor — not much else to do in a small town that’s almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she’d start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together – and change everything. There’s a book for every person … and a person for every book.” (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Sometimes you read a book that feels like it’s enveloping you in a big hug; you sit there reading and everything just feels cosy and oh so right with the world. Then you finish and you’re happy because you’ve just read a really nice book that shut out reality for a little while. For me, that is what reading Katarina Bivald’s The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend was like. There was nothing spectacular about it; nothing that caused me to ponder the wide world and reflect on my own mortality. And that’s why I loved it, because it was a book I could escape into which is sometimes what we avid readers need to cleanse our minds.
As I mentioned in my Teaser Tuesday post for this book, it was difficult not to see myself reflected in the main character, Sara, who constantly has her face stuck in a book and who isn’t a big fan of people in general. While her storyline may be a little predictable, there was a certain comfort in that, and it was nice watching her move through the story while occasionally cringing at her awkwardness. The supporting characters were wonderful as well, from Grace who all but demands to be the town outcast, to George the recovering alcoholic who, it turns out, has a penchant for chick-lit.
I found Bivald’s writing incredibly enjoyable to read, and on more than one occasion I was laughing out loud on the train, at one point causing the man next to me to ask if the book was good. I was standing up to get off the train at the time, so thankfully my reading wasn’t interrupted, which is the scourge of readers everywhere and reminds me of a quote from the book:
“Without realizing it, she was clutching her jacket pocket, where she had shoved a paperback just to be on the safe side. She didn’t think she could really take it out, even though Tom obviously had no desire to talk to her. People were strange like that. They could be completely uninterested in you, but the moment you picked up a book, you were the one being rude.”
And there are plenty of other moments like this scattered throughout the book that any reader will be able to relate to. Bivald is clearly one of those writers who reads a lot, because only one such person would be able to make such shrewd observations about readers and the non-readers in their lives.
So if you’re feeling like your choice of reading lately has left you feeling a little flat and you need a pick-me-up, this might just be the book for you. As I said, Sara’s story is at times a little predictable, but do we want or need to be surprised all the time? No, I don’t think so. Sometimes we need a little bit of comfort, a laugh, and some characters we can cosy up to.
Now for some fun blog tour stuff!
Firstly, thanks so much to Sourcebooks Landmark for inviting me to take part in this tour – I’m super happy to be able to share the love about the book!
Sourcebooks Landmark are running a couple of giveaways as part of the tour. The first is a Rafflecopter giveaway so you can win a copy of the book all for your very self! There are three copies available. If you’d like to enter, just go here, follow the prompts, and cross your fingers! Unfortunately this competition is only open to residents of the USA.
The second is a sweepstakes competition for you guys to vote for your favourite bookstore to win a grant. You could also win one of eight US$50 giftcards. So both you AND your bookstore could be winners. If you’d like to enter the sweepstakes, you just have to go here. This competition is also only open to residents of the USA, sorry everyone else (the full T&C’s are here).